Gender, resilience and the power of self care for African women leaders: unpacking the psychological effects of being 'strong'

A conference session by Aline Mugisho
Executive Manager, Young Africa Works, Youth In Agribusiness

23 September 2021, 12:15 PM

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About this conference session

Women leaders across the world are defined by their strength, which in most cases is tied to their ability to endure severe adversity and stand still. Society has placed so much responsibility and pressure on women that often times their journey is confused as a quest for proving their power and capacity. There is still little tolerance given to mistakes and failures of women leaders whose moments of weakness are often judged as failure therefore keeping a perpetuate binary of power and capacity. Between societal gender-roles, family responsibilities and a choice for a professional career and competition for a leadership position, women leaders often find themselves at a cross-road of ignored feelings and remain unaware of the damage such pressure does to their inner-self. This presentation addresses the importance of self-care for women leaders by redefining resilience as not only a coping mechanism but a tool for self-care. It raises awareness on psychological effects that generate from lack of self-care. The final aspects shares a few self-care mechanisms that can be applied by women-leaders as a tool to create balance and increase efficiency.

Aline Mugisho

Aline Mugisho is the Executive Director for the Young Africa Works, a collaboration between IITA and Mastercards Foundation which focuses innovative approaches to agribusiness start-ups and trainings for Africa’s young people, especially women to secure dignified and fulfilling work in agri-food value chains thereby, empowering them for self-employment and employment opportunities. Before joining the Young Africa Works, Ms. Mugisho worked as a Senior Project Manager for the European Youth Education Centre (EJBW). She previously worked as a Senior Consultant on various USAIDS funded research projects integrating youth and gender in agriculture in collaboration of Tetra-Tech (Maryland) and Mercy Corps (Food Security Programme/Washington DC). She also worked for international organisations such as Oxfam Novib (DRC) Trocaire (Ireland), Doctors Without Borders (Johannesburg/South Africa). Her research experience include gender and public policy, migration and development, resilience and community development and Diaspora Dynamics. Ms. Mugisho is also an activist and has worked extensively on migrant’s rights, women’s rights as well as social and political inclusion. She is currently finalising her PhD in Public Policy at the University of Erfurt. Her research focuses on Resilience and women’s protection in Great-Lakes region of Africa. She also has a Masters of Social Sciences (Migration Studies), A Bachelor in Journalism and Communication.

Hosted by AFT in collaboration with Friends of KCC and CMM Institute